Wednesday, November 24th, 2021


Bad’s Reputation

Every day I go out into the swirling cesspool of bad news about bad people doing bad things. So I might seem like an odd messenger to deliver this missive: People aren't all that bad. Check out my article in the Boston Globe that I hope will spread around a lot of tables this Thanksgiving: I read more news than anyone. Trust me, people are better than we're led to think.


Self on the Shelf

"Wilson later told police that the teenagers in the pickup truck swerved in front of him, tried to knock his sedan off the highway, and threw an object that impacted the car with a loud sound that made him think they might be shooting at him. Wilson pulled out a gun and fired out his window at the truck. The bullet struck and killed 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson, who was sitting in the pickup's backseat." A Black Man Charged With Murder Said He Shot At A Group Of White Teens in Self-Defense. (I'm sure Tucker Carlson is going to have him on and celebrate him as a hero any day now...)


15,487 Days

"A judge on Tuesday granted Jackson County prosecutors' motion to exonerate Kevin Strickland in a 1978 triple murder and ordered his immediate release, confirming that Strickland suffered one of the longest wrongful convictions in U.S. history." Kansas City Star: Kevin Strickland freed after judge vacates conviction in 1978 triple murders. "The state's compensation law is narrow and only allows payments to innocent people exonerated through a specific DNA testing statute, which was not be the case for Strickland, or most exonerees across the U.S." Strickland won't receive a dime. (A GoFundMe campaign is changing that.)


Coup de ‘Ville

Dahlia Lithwick on the $26 million ruling against two dozen white supremacists and violent right wing organizations who organized the 2017 Unite the Right rally. In Charlottesville, the Nazis Were Finally Held to Account. "While these defendants will seek to have the amounts reduced, the fact is that the jury saw fit to condemn their actions wholeheartedly and substantially. Several of the defendants have already declared bankruptcy and some may be unable to pay. Fields is in jail for the rest of his life and Cantwell will return to prison, where he is serving a term for violent sexual threats against another white supremacist. Spencer is broke and his wife has left him, alleging violent abuse. This isn't about squeezing blood from a stone. It's about widespread agreement that the stone sucks."


Gun Show and Tell

"Busse notes that when he first started out, weapons manufacturers refused to market high-powered automatic weapons to the public. But, he says, the gun makers and the NRA have since embraced military-style weapons and tactical gear, branding them as symbols of masculinity and patriotism. This is when, he says, 'the frightening vigilante activity that we have seen with Kyle Rittenhouse or the various other incidents across the country really got its start.'" NPR: Former gun industry insider explains why he left to fight for the other side.

+ "Leading up to the coup, the two groups had coexisted for years, and seemed to operate as separate entities altogether. Then, just six months before Cincinnati, the Old Guard unceremoniously fired most of Carter's staff — a last-ditch effort to end his, and Knox's, growing influence. In response, the two men, alongside some of their loudest supporters, began hatching their plan to take over the NRA. Now, it was time to carry it out." Epic Magazine with the story of the 1977 Revolt at Cincinnati, and the men who changed the course of the NRA forever. Sons of Guns.


Thermodynamic Duo

"They are, they know, now political actors without a country, reviled on the left for being associated with insurrectionists, and on the right for now willing to talk about what actually went down that day in Washington. They can make for difficult, even unsympathetic, subjects, figures who perpetrated a decade's worth of hijinks and dirty tricks who at last pulled off a stunt so big and outrageous they lost control of it. Jan. 6 was supposed to be the culmination of their careers. Instead, it felt like the end." Politico MAGAzine: The Bonnie and Clyde of MAGA World.


Germanic of Time

"Almost two months after his Social Democrat party won federal elections, he will go into power with the Greens and business-friendly Free Democrats. Climate protection forms a big part of the coalition deal." Germany's Scholz seals deal to end Merkel era after a 16-year run.


Tennis Goes to Eleven

"It is hard to overstate the push the W.T.A. has made into China over the past decade, ever since Li Na won the French Open title, in 2011, with a hundred and sixteen million people in China watching on television. In 2019, the tour had nine events in the country, including its crown jewel, the World Tour Finals. A few years ago, Simon boasted of China's "billion dollar" investment in the sport: the gleaming new stadiums that dotted the country and the stupendously large purses. (The fourteen million dollars in prize money for the W.T.A. Finals dwarfed the nine million dollars committed to the Association of Tennis Professionals' parallel event for men.) China's buy-in opened up new markets and opportunities for the tour—Jon Wertheim, of Sports Illustrated, reported that "at least one-third" of the W.T.A.'s revenue came from China, a figure heralded as symbolically significant." The New Yorker: Peng Shuai and the High Stakes of Business in China. (More US corporations should follow the lead of the W.T.A.)


The Buck Stops Here

"For 35 years, the discount chain Dollar Tree committed to selling almost everything for $1. Time has come to pass the buck: Prices for most items will increase to $1.25." Passing the buck: Dollar Tree raises prices to $1.25.


Feel Good Wednesday

"It was 1970, and Vogelbaugh's mom-and-pop store in the former mill town of Moline, Ill., was full of customers filling up their carts with the fixings for turkey dinners with their families. Then there was 91-year-old Rose Hanson. 'While I was bagging her groceries, I noticed there wasn't a turkey, and I asked how she'd be spending the holiday,' Vogelbaugh recalled. He was saddened by her answer: 'She told me it was just another day to be alone,' he said. When Hanson told him that she couldn't buy many groceries because she had a hot plate for a stove and a windowsill for a refrigerator, Vogelbaugh said, he felt compelled to do something. The next morning, he phoned her and several other elderly customers and invited them to join him for Thanksgiving dinner in the back room at his grocery store, Bob's Market. Then he called his parents and told them he wouldn't be coming to the family dinner that week." WaPo (Gift Article): Former grocer (and current crossing guard) has for decades hosted free Thanksgiving feast for 3,000.

"Now Caroline Clarin is trying to save them one by one, doing it all from the 1910 Minnesota farmhouse she shares with her wife, drawing from retirement funds to help a group of men who share her love of farming." AP: 'They become our family:' US farming couple rescues Afghans.

+ "For 82 years, Betty Grebenschikoff believed her best friend from Germany was dead. But just a few weeks ago, there she was in the flesh, standing in a St. Petersburg, Fla., hotel room. The last time Grebenschikoff saw Ana María Wahrenberg was in the spring of 1939, when they were 9 years old. They shared a tearful hug in a Berlin schoolyard before their families were forced to flee the country and the Nazis on the cusp of World War II." WaPo (Gift Article): Best friends at 9, they were separated when they fled the Nazis. Now, 82 years later, they finally hugged again.

+ US jobless claims hit 52-year low.

+ Hertfordshire Bronze Age axe hoard found by girl detectorist.

+ 47 Fun Facts About the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

+ 9 charts to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

+ 47 Good Thanksgiving Movies the Whole Family Will Love and 30 Great Thanksgiving TV Episodes.

+ Have a great Thanksgiving, folks!